|vbAdvance is a product of Young Dynamic Software.|
Offered here, with permission, as unsupported freeware.
© 2001 - 2007 Young Dynamic Software. All rights reserved.
vbAdvance is a Visual Basic Add-In that gives you access to
advanced build features and many IDE convenience features.
As a Visual Basic Add-In, vbAdvance runs while you design
and compile your applications. Once your app is built, vbAdvance is no
longer needed. vbAdvance adds no distributable dependencies to your projects
- there is nothing to distribute because vbAdvance is only needed by the VB
vbAdvance is a fast, efficient and groundbreaking piece of
work, providing access to many features that are otherwise not possible in
VB. Read on for the full list of features...
vbAdvance gives Visual Basic powerful new abilities...
Console Applications - Create true console-subsystem
applications in Visual Basic that interact with the command-prompt from
which they were launched. We are proud to be able to include a uniquely
powerful Console Support Code Module and samples courtesy of Karl E.
Peterson (author of the "Ask the VB Pro" column in Visual Basic Programmer's
Journal and a VB MVP). This code module is the only one of it's kind and
provides everything you'll need to create full-featured and robust console
Function Exports - Build standard DLLs that export
functions using Visual Basic. Function exports are required for certain
application types such as Control Panel Applets. Having access to this
feature allows you to build these applications using VB. You can also
implement the DllInstall feature of RegSvr32.exe in your DLLs to provide
command-line switch customized registration of your DLLs. Many application
plug-ins, such as WinAmp and InstallShield plug-ins, require function
exports, which means you can now use Visual Basic to create them instead of
having to resort to another language, or rely on non-VB proxy DLLs and the
troubles that go with them.
Complete Version Number Control - Visual Basic
inexplicably omits one of the fields in your application's version number
resource. The version number standard is as follows:
What VB normally gives you is this:
In other words, the Revision field is always set to 0. To confuse matters
further, what VB calls the Revision field is actually the Build field. Be
confused and frustrated no longer - vbAdvance gives you full access to your
application's version fields.
DllMain - The DllMain entrypoint is used in standard
DLLs as a way to recieve startup and teardown notification. vbAdvance gives
you the ability to use a DllMain entrypoint in your standard DLLs.
DllRegisterServer / DllUnregisterServer customization -
An extension of the Function Exports feature, the ability to override and
customize these two registration exports gives you full control over your
DLL's registration. For example, starting with Windows 2000, you have the
option to register an ActiveX DLL to HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, thus avoiding the permissions problems some customers
face. Unfortunately, VB gives you no way to specify this change. vbAdvance
does. Using vbAdvance, you can easily change the Registry hive your DLL or
OCX is registered under. You could also easily add any custom code you
wanted to run at registration time.
XP Manifest Resource Compiler - This option allows you
to very easily add support for the new XP Themes. It automatically compiles
the necessary XP Manifest Resource into your application. This feature
eliminates the need to distribute a seperate XML file with your application
and the trouble that goes along with it.
Terminal Server Aware Applications - Create applications
that are Terminal Server Aware, giving you full control over your app's
behavior when run in a Terminal Server environment.
App Icons - Set your application icon without the need
for a Form or a Resource file. Just point to the icon file and build your
Advanced Debug File Options - Strip private information
from your PDB debug files to prevent reverse-engineering of your app when
distributing debug files. Compile the Symbolic Debug Information into your
EXE or DLL and avoid having to distribute a seperate PDB file. Generate MAP
and DBG files for your project. With vbAdvance, the full list of possible
debug file generation options is made available to you.
Resource-Only DLLs - Build a resource-only DLL from your
project's resource file with the touch of a button.
Dynamic Conditional Compile Arguments - Specify
conditional compile argument values that differ between design time and
compile time. This is particularily useful for the DbgWProc.dll constant,
DEBUGWINDOWPROC, which must be set to 1 when in design mode and 0 when
compiled. Another example would be an IN_IDE conditional to determine if
you're running in design mode, or compiled.
Custom DOS Stub EXEs - VB automatically creates a DOS
stub EXE for you when you build an executable. The purpose for this is to
output some text to the command line when your EXE is run from the DOS
environment, explaining that it is a Windows app and will not run under DOS.
The Custom DOS Stub EXE feature allows you to place your own DOS stub EXE
into your app, allowing you to customize the text that is displayed or even
to run an actual DOS version of your application.
vbAdvance makes the Visual Basic IDE better and easier to use...
Check Syntax - Check for syntax errors without building
Build Button - Very similar to the Visual C++ Build
button, this builds your project immediately. No dialogs are presented after
the first build of the project sets the build path.
Execute Button - Very similar to the Visual C++ Execute
button, this launches your compiled app. A Send Command Line Args option
allows you to send your project's command-line arguments to the executable.
Send Code Module to Text Editor - VB's code editor is
decent, but not great. If it weren't for Intellisense, there'd be nothing
special about VB's integrated code editor. For high-powered editing, many
programmer's turn to a professional text editor. vbAdvance makes it trivial
to send the current code module to your text editor. Just press the button
and your editor will open with the code module you were just viewing from
VB. And when you've made your changes and return to VB, vbAdvance's Detect
Code Module Changes feature will detect your edits and reload the module for
Detect Code Module changes outside of IDE - This feature
enables VB to detect when any code modules in your project are changed by
another process. For example, if you Get Latest from SourceSafe, and one of
your code modules is overwritten with a newer version, or if you edit one of
the modules with a text editor, or even if you copy over a module using
Windows Explorer, this feature will notify you that there was a change and
offer to reload the module automatically, saving you from having to reload
the entire project in order to pick up the changes.
Disable Build Dialogs - The first time you build your
project, you are presented with a 'Save As...' style dialog to tell VB where
you want to build your project and what you want it named. This makes
perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is that even though you already told
VB what to name the executable, VB keeps asking you the same question every
time you build your project - and to make matters worse, it kindly tells you
that there's already a file of that name (duh!) and do you want to overwrite
it? Well, vbAdvance to the rescue! The Disable Build Dialogs feature
prevents those dialogs from appearing once you've told VB where to build the
project. The first time you'll be asked where to build it, and subsequent
times you will not be bothered. This is the normal behavior of the vbAdvance
Build button, this feature allows you to apply it when building from the
File menu option.
Clear Immediate Window - This feature automatically
clears the Immediate Window when you run your project.
Sizeable Dialogs in the IDE - Ever wonder why all of the
standard Windows common dialogs used by the VB IDE are not sizeable? So did
we, and we took care of the problem. When vbAdvance is running, all standard
Open and Save dialogs are sizeable.
Binary Compatibility File Enhancement - An extension of
the sizeable dialogs feature is found when you select your Binary
Compatibility file for an ActiveX DLL project. It has become standard
practice to use an extension of *.cmp for compatibility files in order to
avoid confusion with the target DLL. Unfortunately, VB's Open dialog
requires a few clicks to change the Selection Filter to 'All Files' in order
to see any *.cmp files. vbAdvance adds the *.cmp filter entry to this Open
dialog and makes it the default selection.
Alert/Clear of Read-Only attribute when building or saving
- Ever make a change to a source file, only to find you can't save it
because it's marked read-only? Or try to build your project and can't, again
because the target binary is read-only? vbAdvance adds intelligence to VB,
alerting you of the problem and offering to clear the read-only flag for
you, so you can get on with your work, instead of wasting time in Windows
vbAdvance is now unsupported freeware.
Use the following license to register the product:
Copy it all (include the BEGIN and END LICENSE lines). In the Advanced
Options dialog, click on the "About" button, then click on the "Register"
button. Paste your registration info and click OK.
Click here to download the latest release
(Version 3.1, Self-Extracting EXE, 846 KB approx.)
Click here to download the vbAdvance help file,
without downloading the full package.
(HTML Help Format, 199 KB approx.)
Note: The help file is already included in the installer, so if you're
installing vbAdvance, you do not need to download the help file separately.
Click here to download the
latest Console support code.
Note: This console code is already included in the vbAdvance installation
package, and the latest code is included at the time of packaging. Note
however, that Karl Peterson may have updated the code since then. You may follow this
link to ensure you have the latest version.
Visual Basic 5 or Visual Basic 6 Professional or Enterprise Editions,
Service Pack 3 or higher.
Win 98, 2K, XP.
Run the self-extracting executable and follow its instructions. Once
installed, the add-in will load automatically the next time you start VB.
The vbAdvance Toolbar will be floating in the center of the screen and may
be repositioned and docked to your liking.
The vbAdvance Help File is accessible from the Start menu if you chose to
install the icons. You can also access the online Help from the vbAdvance
Advanced Options dialog, which can be launched from the vbAdvance Toolbar or
the VB Add-Ins menu.
© 2001 - 2007 Young Dynamic Software. All rights reserved.